The New York Mets, coming off a historically crushing end to their 2007 season, are increasing their ticket prices by “on average, about 20 percent,” Dave Howard, the team’s executive vice president of business operations, told New York Newsday over the weekend. Specific prices were scheduled to be released by the team today.

The median ticket price will be “in the mid-30s” per game, according to Howard.

Mike Weinstat, a Port Washington resident, told Newsday the season tickets he shares with a friend — located in the loge boxes right off home plate — are increasing 24 percent, from approximately $71 per game per ticket to approximately $88.

“There’s a saying in business, ‘If you’ve got ’em by the — — , squeeze ’em,'” Weinstat said Saturday in a telephone interview. “The Mets are run like a great business. They are squeezing the customers. They know that everything is going to be in huge demand for the new ballpark.”

Citi Field, the Mets’ new ballpark, is on schedule to open in 2009.

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